It isn’t just ragweed pollen allergy sufferers should think about. Forest trees and shrubs have been flowering here in northern Minnesota for about six weeks now and the pollen levels are high. First to bloom were willows and then alders and hazels. Shortly after that red maple and quaking aspens flowered. For people with pollen allergies this can be a difficult time of year. The worst trees for allergies and asthma are the wind-pollinated species like aspen, alder, and hazel. Now conifers are shedding pollen beginning with white spruce last week. This week black spruce and jack pine have pollen cones ready to open. The white pines, red pines, birches, and oaks are not far behind. Pollen will be falling like rain.
There isn’t much a person can do about the pollen. It is everywhere this time of year filling the air, coating all surfaces, and finding its way indoors as well. Asthma medications and allergy drugs help for serious reactions to pollen. My own hay fever has become less severe over the years with vastly fewer incidences of difficult breathing, red eyes, and painfully sore throat. I used to dread the season of grass pollen but except for a slightly itchy throat that, too, seems to be not so serious now. I hope that it continues that way.